I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel
Monday, July 29, 2013
The Delights of Small Ship Cruising
When you choose a cruise, remember to include the size of the ship in your decision. Ship size determines not only the number of fellow passengers, but the amount and style of dining spots, entertainment choices, and even the cost of your vacation. Cruise ships of all sizes offer the same wonderful ease of planning, budgeting and sailing between ports: but, small ships deliver a unique kind of cruise experience.
While big ships provide an amazing, resort-style vacation that’s memorable even if you never step off the ship, small ships tend to focus on the destination as the main vacation experience. The per-passenger cost for a small ship cruise is usually higher than on a big ship: however, extras such as alcoholic beverages, gratuities, shore excursions and even airfare may be included.
While some small ships welcome families, there is often limited or no special programming for children, and some ships are unapologetically “adults only.”
Most small ships offer luxurious comfort, with high-end furnishings and finishes everywhere (small specialty ships, like those made to cut through Antarctic ice, are less elegant but still very comfortable). Small ships also tend to have more crew members per passenger, delivering a higher and more personalized level of service.
With a smaller number of guests to serve, the galleys produce high-quality cuisine and accommodate a multitude of special requests. It’s rare to see a line of people waiting for seating.
As for dress codes, most small ships don’t go formal every night – in fact, there may just be one or two “black tie” evenings. However, the level of casual dress is likely to be “resort” or “country club” casual: no shorts, jeans, midriff-baring tops or stretched-out t-shirts. Small ship casual means slacks and collared shirts for men, casual dresses or slacks and blouses for women.
One of the best things about small ships is that they can go where larger ships cannot. Small ships have access to smaller islands, ports that require a bit of river travel, and exotic places that can’t accommodate big ships, such as Pisco, Peru; Katakolon, Greece; or Langkawi, Malaysia.
There are some wonderful small-ship cruise lines, but some lines known for massive ships have smaller, cozier ships, too. Ask Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert about your options for a small-ship cruise.
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